Senator Markey to Introduce Legislation to Stop Trump Administration from Bypassing Congress on Nuclear Technology Transfer to Saudi Arabia
Announcement comes after Trump administration admits it has granted secret authorizations to US companies to share nuclear technology and expertise with Saudi Arabia
Washington (March 28, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement denouncing the Trump administration’s granting of six secret authorizations that allow companies to begin providing nuclear technology, including the “transfer of knowledge and expertise,” to Saudi Arabia. In October 2018, Senator Markey called on President Trump not only to suspend any on-going discussions related to concluding a civil nuclear cooperation, a 123 agreement, but also to direct his administration to revoke any Part 810 authorizations for the transfer of nuclear services, technology, or assistance to Saudi Arabia and to suspend indefinitely consideration of further Part 810 authorizations with regard to the Kingdom.
In February, Senators Markey and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Congressmen Brad Sherman (CA-30) and Ted Yoho introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that increases Congressional oversight over any wider civil nuclear cooperation agreement – or 123 agreement – between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
“It is now clear why my repeated questions for the Trump administration have gone unanswered about how many authorizations it has issued to companies seeking to engage in nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” said Senator Markey. “This administration has shown no qualms about going around Congress to assist authoritarians and promote private interests over public ones. This administration and its industry friends are not the ones who get to decide whether Congress reviews 810 authorizations. I will soon introduce legislation to mandate that any 810 authorizations the Department of Energy approves to share U.S. nuclear technology or expertise are made available to Congress. We must ensure that Saudi Arabia never ends up with the American technology or materials to make a nuclear bomb.”
In 2017 Senator Markey sent the first in a series of oversight letters to the Trump administration raising concerns about the status, transparency, and motivations for U.S. discussions with Saudi Arabia regarding nuclear cooperation.